Great article about Black Ankle vineyards here. It’s only part one. I look forward to the second part and to see how she answers the question a lot of us, including me, have asked: are Black Ankle wines worth the price?
Also someone (or someones) else liked the Knob Hall Chambourcin as much as I did. It won the top award at the American Wine Society’s Annual National Conference in a competition of the top varieties and wines of the Maryland and New Jersey region. Article here.
Black Ankle Vineyards is having a lot going on over the next month. Winemaker for a day on October 24th, a Sunday evening pasta & wine dinner on November 15 and most intruiging to me: “Leafstone vs. The World” on November 8th. From their website:
We have asked 7 of the best wine merchants in Maryland to recommend Syrahs that are comparably priced to our 2007 Leaf-Stone Syrah. Black Ankle’s Ed Boyce will lead a blind tasting of eight wines, including the Leaf-Stone. The tasting will be accompanied by discussion of strenghts, weaknesses and interesting points of each wine. Once the identies of the wines are revealed, we will look at when, how and where they were made and how their cultivation has affected the finished wines. This is definitely a five star day for the serious (or aspiring) wine geeks out there!
$75 a head seems a little dear to me , but I’d love to go anyway except I think I’m going to be out of town that weekend. Darn
Also saw that Moxie Cafe and Bakery on North Market Street has opened. I’ll have to stop by and let you know what I think. Sigh- my to do list gets longer by the day!
Filed under Food, Stores, Wine
After all this time I finally got a chance to visit Black Ankle Vineyards. They have been open for about a year if I recall correctly and on my list of places to visit since I heard of their opening. So one recent weekend Mrs. Fred and I along with my brother and sister in law headed off to check it out. First of all the setting is really beautiful; after you drive down a very rural Black Ankle Road and then the gravel driveway you come to the tasting room, set on a gently sloping hillside nestled amid the vineyards. The building itself is also fascinating. For the full story check out their detailed description of the tasting room here. In short the building was built as much as possible sustainably and out of local materials. Grass roof, huge fireplace, timber from the farm itself are all some of the details. Also be sure to check out the tasting room counter if you go! They have a nice breezeway with large garage-style roll up doors and a large patio. All of us had the same reaction: what an amazing place for a party or wedding! I also saw that they have regular sunday wine dinners. In keeping with their philosophy they use local seasonal ingredients. This is certainly on our to do list.
On to the wines. The tasting fee was a very reasonable $5 and the staff was very knowledgeable and answered all of our wine nerd questions. All in all the consensus was that the wines were very good. My brother who lives in Massachusetts confessed later that due to his experiences visiting the local vineyards in his area he had very low expectations. He said he was extremely surprised by the quality of wines we tasted that day and I agree. It’s always awkward when you taste a wine at a winery that you really dislike and the staff is there staring at you like a proud parent. Well no poker faces needed here. Our favorite reds were the 2006 Crumbling Rock and the 2006 Syrah. On the white side there was less consensus on a clear cut favorite with everybody liking something different. I liked the 2007 Bedlam best. Several bottles were purchased to add to the cellar.
Value note: lets face it: at prices ranging from $22-40 these wines aren’t a stupendous value. However they rank up there with the best wines from this region that I have tasted. The wines are quality wines and you won’t be embarrassed serving these or giving them as gifts. As someone who strongly believes in supporting local agriculture these wines will continue to enjoy a place on our table.